Follow in the footsteps of Margaret Mitchell, along with Scarlett and Rhett.
During Travel Media Marketplace last month in Vidalia, Georgia, Clayton County Convention & Visitors Bureau announced its partnership in a new Gone With the Wind Trail. Windies have probably been traveling this trail for years, but for regular fans of Margaret Mitchell’s masterpiece, this collection of sites in and around Atlanta makes it easy to discover the story’s history and legacy. See museums related to the book and movie, tour the apartment where Margaret Mitchell penned the book and sites related to the Civil War and Battle of Atlanta.
“Originally born from the imaginings of the Marietta Visitors Bureau, the Gone With The Wind Trail was created as an opportunity to ease the efforts of visitors planning their Georgia travels throughout Atlanta metro,” says Rebekah Cline with Clayton County, designated the “official home of Gone With the Wind.” ”The newly designated Gone With the Wind Trail provides an established route of key sites as clear direction for tourists seeking novel and film-related attractions within Atlanta metro.”
Trail sites include:
Located on Marietta’s historic town square, just outside of Atlanta, this museum opened in 2003 and features an extensive collection of memorabilia provided by Dr. Chris Sullivan, including the original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh in the movie. 18 Whitlock Ave., Marietta, GA, 770-794-5576. Admission is $7 for adults.
Trace the footsteps of Margaret Mitchell in her Crescent Avenue apartment and see where she wrote “Gone With the Wind,” as well as letters of correspondence, images and foreign and first edition copies of the book. Exhibitions on the movie, including the entrance to Tara from the set, and Mitchell herself are included, and the adjoining History Center features 1,400 original artifacts in one of the largest Civil War exhibitions in the nation. House: 990 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta, GA, 404-249-7015; Center: 130 W. Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, GA, 404-814-4000. For tickets and pricing, visit www.AtlantaHistoryCenter.com.
With one of the most extensive collections of Margaret Mitchell’s photographs, books and personal items, the library’s special collections department on the fifth floor is a must-see destination for all lovers of literature and Margaret Mitchell. The collection includes 73 editions of 35 translations of “Gone with the Wind,” over 500 of Mitchell’s personal books used for her research, over 400 personal photographs documenting all aspects of her life and work, her Red Cross uniform, National Book Award for fiction and her 1937 Pulitzer Prize, her Remington typewriter, used to write “Gone With the Wind,” and her Atlanta Public Library card. One Margaret Mitchell Square, Atlanta, GA, 404-730-1700. Admission is free.
Visit the gravesite of Margaret Mitchell in Atlanta’s Victorian cemetery, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The author is buried along with Civil War leaders, slaves and former mayors. Guided walking tours and twilight tours are available. 248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta, GA, 404-688-2107. Tours are $10 for adults.
Just 15 miles south of Atlanta, in the official home of “Gone With the Wind,” lies another museum filled with original movie props and wardrobe items, a foreign edition library, original manuscripts, costume reproductions, an extensive photo gallery and collectible plate and doll collection. Many items come from the personal collection of Herb Bridges, the largest private collector of “Gone With the Wind” memorabilia. 104 N. Main St., Jonesboro, GA, 770-478-4800. Admission is $7 for adults.
A museum with Civil War artifacts, weapons, maps and photographs, this stop’s main attraction is a painting of the Battle of Atlanta presented as a three-dimensional panorama with music and narration that forever captures a pivotal moment in the history of our nation. Guests can experience the battle, and tours are offered every hour on the half hour. 800 Cherokee Ave., Atlanta, GA, 404-658-7625. Admission is $10 for adults.
Located in Jonesboro, this antebellum home takes visitors back to the days of Scarlett and Rhett and is open for interior and grounds tours. Costumed interpreters offer personal tours and tell why the home is though to be one of the inspirations for Tara. 100 Carriage Lane, Jonesboro, GA, 404-473-0197. Tours are $12 for adults.
The battle for Atlanta began here. This 2,888-acre national park with miles of hiking trails preserves the battleground where the Confederate Army temporarily stopped General William T. Sherman’s troop advance southward before the fall of Atlanta. The Park serves as a memorial to the entire Atlanta Campaign, and the visitors center houses numerous exhibits that illustrate its history and the battle that took place there on June 27, 1864. 900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr., Kennesaw, GA, 770-427-4686. Entrance is free, but a shuttle bus provides transportation to the top of the mountain for $2.
For more information on Georgia’s new Gone With the Wind Trail, visit GWTWTrail.com or call 404-814-4032. Clayton County also offers a girlfriends getaway package, “Gone With the Girls,” that includes a bus tour of Jonesboro and stop at the Road to Tara Museum plus treatment at Scarlett’s Retreat Day Spa, including a mint julep pedicure. The package begins at $85 a person. Call 800-662-7829 to book.
To get even more inside information on some of these trail stops and other “Gone With the Wind” related sites across the South, complete with maps, download our Southern Literary Trail App.